View more on these topics

Selling clients short with free legal deals

HARPAL SINGH
HARPAL SINGH MANAGING DIRECTOR CONVEYANCING ALLIANCE

It’s a constant source of amazement to me that remortgages with free legals are still recommended by advisers when they are poor value and leave clients without legal representation.

Of course, the notion of legals being free is nonsense anyway, when you consider that most are paid for either by a higher product rate or an arrangement fee.

But free legal deals are still popular and the idea that they could be putting clients at risk seems to be overpowered by the word free.

Let’s not forget that there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Lenders are effectively paying lawyers to protect their legal interests but are not required to pay for those of borrowers, and therefore generally leave this out.

So given that lawyers don’t act for borrowers, who do they turn to when things go wrong? Without protection or the right to recourse via The Law

Society clients can be exposed if, say, completion takes place too late or there is a failure to repay secured loans.

Furthermore, brokers are effectively taking themselves out of the loop if they recommend the free legals option.

What makes all this even more bizarre is that remortgage conveyancing can be purchased cheaply and clients get total protection and a quality legal service from professionals in their field.

So instead of taking the free legals why not opt for cashback instead and ensure your clients have no reason to doubt your professionalism.

Recommended

DOUGLAS

House prices will increase 5% this year as SVRs go down, says CEBR

House prices will finish the year 5% higher than they started it, with the average SVR down to 3% from 4%, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research. Its latest Consumer And Housing Prospects report forecasts that average mortgage rates will fall by 1% by early 2011 as the money markets price in […]

Losing my cool with lenders that elbow me out of the way

Lenders that approach my clients are starting to get my goat, with Abbey and Nationwide being the worst culprits. I regularly review my clients’ files, especially when their deals are nearing an end. I recently contacted a client whose five-year fixed rate is coming to an end in June only to be told that Abbey […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up